This is a bit old-news, but I still see these ads all over YouTube whenever I watch video by some of my favorite vloggers like The Amazing Atheist or Zinnia Jones. These ads all have a very similar approach – to make the Mormons seem less annoying, and more relatable. And to be honest, I find these ads fascinating.
Why exactly are the Mormons trying to sell themselves off as a group for us to like? Thanks to the internet, we are able to more and more get out information about different groups. It is part of the reason that the atheist community grows so fast. When you can quickly get information debunking all of the BS that religions spout, how can one buy into the belief that a religious group is cool and worth being a part of?
Looking at the Mormon faith, there are a lot of reasons why they aren’t worth even giving the time of day. The first reason is that they are openly hateful of the LGBT community. Their church preaches about how being gay is a sin, Satan is gay, and how Satan wants all the gay people. Some of the biggest proponents of Prop. 8 in California were Mormon groups. Mormon groups all over the country are working to keep gay marriage from becoming legalized. Somehow, they feel that it will hurt society or their own marriages. They’re stupid like that.
Next up, there is the clear subjugation of women. You won’t find many faiths that are so openly sexist. Well, actually, not openly. With these “And I’m a Mormon” ads, they are trying so very hard to make it look like women are just so happy and that they are living up the party. Perhaps these women like to be viewed as secondary to their husbands, I don’t know, but it’s still wrong. Every time I see women making these videos, I always feel like there is some kind of weird Stockholm thing going on. Creepy.
Then there is the indoctrination. The church teaches you to obey. You have to do what the church leaders tell you to do. You are demanded not to think for yourself and to simply follow the preacher’s lead. Well, I can’t hold that one too much against the Mormons. Christianity and Islam are just as guilty of it as well, but that is part of the reason that I am against all religions. They are telling very small children that to be who you are is a sin. You have to be who the church wants you to be. Failing that, there is something wrong with you.
Then there is how racist the Mormon church is. The only reason that the church stopped preaching the message that black people are evil because they didn’t join God in the fight against Satan is because the Supreme Court came in and said that if they were going to exclude black people, they could leave behind their tax-exempt status (something that all churches should be deprived of, but that’s neither here nor there). Racism is written right into the Book of Mormon. The church has recently been trying to look like they are diversifying, but that is all smoke and mirrors. The truth is that it is still just as much a very white religion as it always was. I find it so fascinating that they can believe that Jesus came back as a Native American, and still be so white, and think that white people are blessed, when if he really did come back as a native, and if you see how the white man treated Native Americans when we first came here, he would hate this race so much.
But the most fun thing about the Mormon faith is just how bat-shit crazy a lot of their beliefs are. Now, you don’t get to know how bat-shit crazy stuff is until you have been a member of the Mormon church for some time. They have beliefs that men, only men, get to own their own planet when they die. Adam populated the Earth by owning his own planet and getting to have tons of sex with a zillion women there, and produce Earth’s residents. There are also a number of cultish rituals that go down in their church, like their baptisms of the dead. Among the dead people baptized are Adolf Hitler, and Holocaust victims. There is a spectacular way that that is offensive, I just don’t have the literary skills to make the connection in a way that makes sense.
These ads are trying to change our perception of the Mormon church. They are trying to seem very connectable and very understandable. They want us to see the church as a place that is very open and cool with who you are. The problem is that these ads are coming too little, too late. The internet has become a hub of religious debunking, and the Mormons are just going to have to accept that. Otherwise, they will start to look like the bad writers who tried to make Robin seem cool in Batman: The Animated Series (a show I love, but come on, he was awful).
Mormons, if you want people not to see your religion for the bigoted, homophobic, sexist cult that it really is, you’re going to have to work a lot harder than having an ad where a guy goes surfing. Perhaps you could try a reality show where Mormons are being stupid. America’s big on stupid. They like watching stupid people be stupid, and then stupidly trying to imitate that stupidity on their own. So try that. Or, you could try having a sexy celebrity say that being Mormon is awesome. America likes sexy people. Don’t appeal to people’s intelligence, appeal to their base nature. You’ll get farther.
Until next time, a quote,
“If I was in the right environment, and I was taking religion classes, and I was still praying and reading the scriptures that maybe I would figure something out. That didn’t happen, though.” -Alex Stout, My name is Alex and I’m an Ex Mormon